The Battle Over Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in The Jordan Johnson Trial [AUDIO]
The final defense witness in the Jordan Johnson rape trial was Dr. William Stratford, an expert in forensic psychiatry.
Dr. Stratford was called to specifically refute the allegation that the alleged victim suffered, and continues to suffer from the anxiety disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Defense attorney David Paoli led Stratford through the medical reports generated at the Curry Health Center, where the young woman was treated.
Dr. Stratford pointed out that of the four individuals who treated the alleged victim, only one, Drew Colling, indicated that the young woman was suffering from PTSD. Stratford was firm in his view that the medical records given to him from Dr. David Bell at the Curry Center did not end with an assessment of PTSD, but rather that of anxiety, not otherwise specified.
On cross examination, prosecutor Adam Duerk attempted to get Dr. Stratford to admit that the symptoms that the young woman suffered could be attributed to PTSD, but he would only say that PTSD was only one possible diagnosis. He said the symptoms could also indicate depression or another anxiety disorder. The testimony was often interrupted by objections from the defense. At one point, Duerk told Dr. Stratford that ‘we’re almost finished,’ to which Dr. Stratford replied ‘thank heavens for that, ‘ which drew laughter from the entire courtroom.
After the lunch break, the prosecution called a rebuttal witness, Dr. David Bell from the Curry Health Center. Duerk had Dr. Bell tell the jury that the young woman did indeed suffer from PTSD. Throughout his testimony, Duerk had bell repeat several times, over defense objections, that the symptoms suffered by the alleged victim were directly related to the sexual assault that occurred on February 4th, 2012.
Dr. Stratford was called back by the defense to dispute Dr. Bell’s rebuttal testimony. He said Dr. Bell cross the line from medical treatment to advocacy.
Another lighthearted moment occurred after the lunch break, when District Judge Karen Townsend addressed the attorneys for both sides asking for the next witness, then did a double-take as she realized she had forgotten to call the jury back in from lunch. Judge Townsend shook her head and chuckled while she said ‘it’s been a long trial,’ drawing laughter from everyone in the courtroom. The jury was called and testimony continued.
After Stratford finished his testimony, the defense rested its case.
Closing arguments will begin Friday morning at 8:30.
Dr. William Stratford